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Orchard sprayers 101

Posted by James Smith 
Orchard sprayers 101
January 11, 2021 08:27PM
One piece of equipment I need to get is a sprayer. Unfortunately I don't know much about them as I've never had cause to have one. What features do I need to look for to spray holistic sprays, such as pump, GPM, agitators? What do I need to avoid? What size should I consider?

Perhaps you could tell us what you have, what you like about it, what you don't like, or wish you had done differently. Your personal experiences would be helpful.

As for myself, I'm leaning towards a Rears sprayer, mostly because they are somewhat local (West Coast) and very popular here in the Okanogan. I'm not sure on size, I have nine acres at present, but do plan on thinning out some trees. I thought 50 gallons would be too small and was leaning towards 100 in a tow behind. I spoke with a dealer and he said 100 gallon tow behinds are rare, either use a three point 100 or go larger. I'm not sure my Kubota 2230 would lift that, and my Kubota M7040 is too large to drive through the trees. He quoted a 50' hose, I'd really like to go longer. All I really know is that I had better get it together quickly as I can't wait until I need it and be told I have to wait several weeks.

Any advice and experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Washington Okanogan Valley
Zone 6b
Re: Orchard sprayers 101
January 11, 2021 08:34PM
Please describe your orchard. Size of trees, layout, density, topography, etc. Thanks, Mike

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: Orchard sprayers 101
January 12, 2021 05:27AM
Mike, I posted a description of my orchard in my introduction thread 'Who is that noob asking dumb questions?' in the Just Talk section. Unfortunately the picture didn't upload, but the best description I could come up with was "My orchard comprises about 9 acres. Counting blocks and doing some math I estimated it has approximately 1500 trees. Topography is mostly flat, I do have some trees on slope. Rows are about 20 feet apart, trees about 10 feet apart in the row. Height is about 20 feet."

I think I got the picture to work. It looks like a broken link, but if you click on URL it takes you there.

Washington Okanogan Valley
Zone 6b



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2021 05:47AM by James Smith.
Re: Orchard sprayers 101
January 15, 2021 08:52PM
Hey James, we have a Rears 50 tow behind for about 3 acres of trees (close to 300 semi-standard) I think a 50 might be too small for you, you would have to make a lot of trips to re-fill. When I'm spraying, I just want to get it done, not making a bunch of trips to remix and fill the tank. We tow ours with an RTV, takes 2 people, one driving and one standing in the back/dump bed spraying. 2 of our blocks we can't drive through so the 100' hose with battery powered reel is essential for us to reach every tree. Ours has seen 4 seasons now, the only issue being the trigger handle now needs to be repaired/replaced.

Vista Ridge Orchard
Zone 8a in Washington
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
Re: Orchard sprayers 101
January 16, 2021 04:41AM
Hello Karen, thanks for your response! How many tank fills does it take for you to complete your orchard? I spoke with Jeff Rear and am waiting for an email with more information from him. He is suggesting that if I can get by with a 125' hose I can get a spring loaded reel. I will be culling out lots of trees, and, what's the word Michael used, topworking, many of them. Even with that I'm leaning towards a 100 gallon tank.

Washington Okanogan Valley
Zone 6b
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